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Cell Prolif. 2002 Apr;35(2):105-15.

Inhibition of human neuroblastoma cell proliferation and EGF receptor phosphorylation by gangliosides GM1, GM3, GD1A and GT1B.

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Departments of Pediatrics and Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60614, USA.


The inhibitory action of gangliosides GT1B, GD1A, GM3 and GM1 on cell proliferation and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) phosphorylation was determined in the N-myc amplified human neuroblastoma cell line NBL-W. The IC50 of each ganglioside was estimated from concentration-response regressions generated by incubating NBL-W cells with incremental concentrations (5-1000 microm) of GT1B, GD1A, GM3 or GM1 for 4 days. Cell proliferation was quantitatively determined by a colourimetric assay using tetrazolium dye and spectrophotometric analysis, and EGFR phosphorylation by densitometry of Western blots. All gangliosides assayed, with the exception of GM1, inhibited NBL-W cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner. The IC50s for gangliosides GT1B [molecular weight (MW) 2129], GM3 (MW 1236), and GD1A (MW 1838) were (mean +/- SEM) 117 +/- 26, 255 +/- 29, and 425 +/- 44 m, respectively. In contrast, the IC50 for GM1 (MW 1547) could not be determined. Incubation of NBL-W cells with epidermal growth factor (EGF) concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 1000 ng/ml progressively increased cell proliferation rate, but it plateaued at concentrations above 10 ng/ml. EGFR tyrosine phosphorylation, however, was incrementally stimulated by EGF concentrations from 1 to 100 ng/ml. The suppression of EGF-induced EGFR phosphorylation differed for each ganglioside, and their respective inhibitory potencies were as follows: EGFR phosphorylation [area under curve (+ EGF)/area under curve (- EGF)]: control (no ganglioside added) = 8.2; GM1 = 8.3; GD1A = 6.7; GM3 = 4.87, and GT1B = 4.09. The lower the ratio, the greater the inhibitory activity of the ganglioside. Gangliosides GD1A and GT1B, which have terminal N-acetyl neuraminic acid moieties, as well as one and two N-acetyl neuraminic acid residues linked to the internal galactose, respectively, both inhibited cell proliferation and EGFR phosphorylation. However, GD1A was a more potent suppressor of cell proliferation and GT1B most effective against EGFR phosphorylation. GM3, which only has a terminal N-acetyl neuraminic acid, inhibited cell proliferation and EGFR phosphorylation almost equivalently. These data suggest that gangliosides differ in their potency as inhibitors of NBL-W neuroblastoma cell proliferation and EGFR tyrosine phosphorylation, and that perturbations in the differential expression of membrane glycosphingolipids may play a role in modulating neuroblastoma growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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